NALA, a Tanzanian cross-border payments provider specializing in international money transfers, has raised $10 million in new funding.
According to reports from Tanzania, the company — which recently pivoted from local to international transfers — allows payments from the UK to Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Ghana.
NALA says more than 8,000 customers have transferred upwards of $10 million to African countries in the past six months.
“Our core customer base is the diaspora right now who live in the U.K.,” founder and CEO Benjamin Fernandes said in an interview with TechCrunch. “We also got our license approvals to go live in the U.S. and the E.U., which will be going live in a month and a half in at least one other E.U. country, probably France.”
The CEO said his company plans further expansion to at least seven other African countries, including Nigeria. He said NALA has projects in the works that are similar to Revolut’s offerings. That company — now a super app — began life providing fee-free currency exchange, peer-to-peer payments and multi-currency bank accounts.
NALA, meanwhile, says it is beta testing multi-currency accounts that will let African expatriates store their home currencies when abroad. The company is also working on a pilot that will let African people running businesses overseas to make payments to their home countries.
“In the long run, we want to build infrastructure across the continent where we can do outbound from the continent and allow people to send money back,” Fernandes said. “We’ve submitted our remittance license application in Kenya, as well as Uganda, for us to be able to do this the other way around.”
As PYMNTS noted last year, cross-border payments are a crucial part of day-to-day operations for individuals and businesses in Africa, but moving funds across the 54 countries in the region can often come with challenges.
“I’m calling in from Ghana, and I still don’t understand why it is so complicated to send money to Nigeria or to the Benin republic,” Dare Okoudjou, founder and CEO of MFS Africa, told PYMNTS last fall.